As a new mom it is really hard to work fitness into your routine. I mean it is difficult to really get yourself into a routine to begin with, but once you do- how does that work? where does the baby go? what do you even do? Luckily for me I dated a very educated and skilled trainer for nearly five years. I lost lose to thirty pounds I had been carrying around for years, however I have since unfortunately completely over-indulged in delicious sugary treats and let fitness fall by the wayside. But not anymore!
- First you need to choose one time that works for your family
- one of the baby nap times during the day?
- between naps when the baby is alert and not cranky?
- in the morning before your spouse heads off to work?
- in the evening after the baby is in bed?
- Second you need to figure out your budget
- To start off with the free (or nearly free) option: buy the bare essentials (a couple of small hand weights, a yoga mat perhaps a yoga block) and youtube/online videos. When the weather is nice you can also search for videos that use your body weight- stuff like wall squats, running on the beach, lunges, etc.
- There are some gyms that operate on peanuts a day, $10-20/month, and if there aren’t in your area check out your local community centre or YMCA/YWCA
- If you can afford say up to $100 a month, there are nice gyms with daycare facilities, the high cost would help your accountability (nobody wants to flush $100/month that could go to your kids’ education plan, day to day costs- or even a spa down the toilet) so you would be more likely to make the most of your investment to your health. AND the daycare option definitely makes it easier to have someone responsible watching your little one for the hour
- If you have money to burn HIRE A TRAINER…they will help you make the most of what limited time you have…I would even suggest using your skills you might have to possibly even offer a barter trade to a trainer to make it more affordable (photography, babysitting, cleaning, cooking perhaps?)
- Once you’ve figured out your time and budget, next we need a plan for accountability. Accountability to yourself is always your #1…but when it’s tough to keep going, its definitely made easier when you have support-someone/others whom you feel responsible to keep up with. If you have a trainer that’s easy, but even so you’re probably not going to train 3-6x a week with a trainer, so what about the other days? Here are some ideas:
- Get a gym buddy- a fellow new mom from a playgroup, a friend or family member, work colleague (it would be great to catch up), or even your partner if you can manage it time-wise
- Tell everyone you know your plans, use social media to update people on your progress, once people know, they’ll ask you how it’s going.
- What to do with the baby?
- The easiest and cheapest option is obviously have your baby’s other parent watch them
- If that’s not feasible, check if there are any friends or family members who want to be a part of your fitness team and who can watch your little guy either on a regular basis or on rotation
- Another option would be if you have a new mom fitness buddy then schedule two hours for fitness: you each watch each other’s children for the hour, then switch
- If you joined a gym with a daycare then obviously take advantage of that option
- Set realistic daily, weekly, monthly and/or annual goals. Don’t expect to really loose more than a pound a week unless you’re going really aggressive (or you have fantastic genes)…even if it took you less than a year to put on the baby weight…it will likely take you twice that time to take it off…so don’t be hard on yourself. Celebrate the small wins! *and by celebrate I mean with a delicious protein shake, alone time with your partner, maybe a glass of wine…NOT with anything sugary 🙂 Things to measure and increase:
- How many times a week do you plan on working out?
- How many reps of each machine/set can you do?
To have an effective fitness routine (you can ask any trainer) you NEED to blend both weights and cardio. Ideally you would work out three times or more a week, with cardio essentially being one to three (for every one cardio session, two sessions of weights).
So that’s it! Don’t forget to HAVE FUN too 😉